The Color Nook Could Be The Tablet Tipping Point
Both Amazon and Barnes & Noble have downplayed actual their e-reader device sales numbers, instead crowing about the number of e-books sold in the past year. This is an important distinction because it shows us a few things about the Nook/Kindle audience. First, e-readers (dedicated e-readers, mind you, not tablets) are popular with heavy readers and, as a corollary, most e-reader owners buy a lot of books. However, the real value has been in the e-book format itself, as the popularity of the Kindle and Nook e-book stores can attest. Since the first e-readers trickled out of Sony in about 2006, the general audience has complained about the lack of a color option and their interest has been consistently drawn to tablets like the iPad, the Playbook, and the HP Slate. What’s an e-reader manufacturer to do?
In short, they need to create a slate with a focus on e-reading which, like the Nook, will run a kiosk-style, locked-down version of Android. A thin LCD screen (OLED is right out) should satisfy all but the most picky reader and a $250 price tag, $50 more than the best E Ink e-reader, would create a fairly compelling offering for that self-same reader.